By Chris McGuinness

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Independent School District's Board of Trustees on Monday approved the selection of one of the district's own for the job of deputy superintendent for the 2012-13 school year.

The seven members of the board voted unanimously to approve the hiring of Richard Kirkpatrick as deputy superintendent.

"I think you can tell that everyone is excited that the decision has been made," said Joan Manning, the board's president.

Kirkpatrick has worked as the principal at Copperas Cove High School for the past three years. Prior to that he was also a principal and assistant principal at S.C. Lee Junior High School from 2006 through 2009.

According to a news release from the district sent Monday, Kirkpatrick earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a master's degree in education administration.

Kirkpatrick was recommended for the position by the district's new superintendent, Joseph Burns, who was hired by the board in May.

Burns, who came to the Cove district from the Vidor Independent School District, said he reviewed applicants from both inside and outside the district before choosing to recommend Kirkpatrick.

"We felt it was best to hire someone with experience in the district, and promote from within," said Burns. "(Kirkpatrick) knows this district very well. He brings a wealth of experience that will be a great benefit to us."

Kirkpatrick said he was excited to begin his new job, and that he hoped his experience would be an asset to the district.

"(The position) will provide me with a chance to affect more students," he said. "I've been in Cove a long time, and I definitely think that will help."

He also said he would miss the students and staff at the high school.

"That's going to be the hardest part," he said. "I'm going to miss the kids, and great staff at that school."

Kirkpatrick not only has experience working as an administrator, but has deep roots in the Cove district as well. He graduated from Copperas Cove High School in 1988 and his father, Richard Kirkpatrick, served as the district's superintendent from 1981 to 1994.

Kirkpatrick will take the place of the district's previous deputy superintendent, Troy Galow, who left the district in June to take a job with the Pflugerville Independent School District.

At the same meeting, Burns also announced that Earl Parcell, who until recently served as Cove's director of programs and college readiness, would be the new principal of the high school.

Burns said Kirkpatrick would start his new job immediately.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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